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Spotlight on ambitions and investment mindset of Elite Entrepreneurs

The 2017 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report is one of the largest international surveys ever polling almost 2,650 multimillionaire entrepreneurs in 21 countries handling a total wealth of USD40 billion.

This year, the report focuses on the most successful wealth creators: Elite Entrepreneurs holding a net worth of USD14.9 million on average.

The 2017 Elite Entrepreneurs manage many companies and are a strong contributor to the global economy,” underlines Sofia Merlo, Co-CEO at BNP Paribas Wealth Management. “While typically maintaining 50% to 65% of their business focus in the market of their primary business, their business footprint is increasingly globalized.”

Their investments are very diversified and balanced between different asset classes,” explains Vincent Lecomte, Co-CEO at BNP Paribas Wealth Management. “They are keen on re-investing most of their wealth when the opportunity arises – nearly 71% of their current investment balance sheet. Close to 20% of their investments is placed either through private equity or angel funding.”

  • The Elite Entrepreneur has created 3.5 companies on average.
  • Their top 5 markets for entrepreneurial opportunity are USA, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
  • 71% of Elite Entrepreneurs have a history of family business ownership. This trend is much more pronounced among entrepreneurs under the age of 35 years – the Millennipreneurs.
  • TOP 3 industries for wealth creation are: IT, Online/mobile/digital, Manufacturing.

The report has examined five specific ELITE profiles:

  • ULTRAPRENEURS - CSR is a notably more important aspect of their approach to business and investing
  • SERIALPRENEURS - they are relentless in their approach to company creation to support wealth creation.
  • MILLENNIPRENEURS - they are maturing and entering a new life phase where family plays a bigger part in their decision making and ambitions.
  • WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS - they have smashed the glass ceiling but recognise that the future success of the next wave of female entrepreneurs requires more collective effort on their part.
  • BOOMERPRENEURS - they are bigger fans of deploying their capital into private businesses rather than deploying themselves.

THE ULTRAPRENEUR an entrepreneur with a net investable wealth in excess of USD25 million.

  • 77% consider CSR as either an important or extremely important element in their businesses and investments. In their current portfolio Ultrapreneurs have 9.0% of their total assets in Socially Responsible Investments (SRIs).

  • They are the most optimistic of all entrepreneur types participating in the survey, with 71% expecting profits to rise in the next 12 months.

  • Their top 5 preferred markets for entrepreneurialism opportunities are the USA (70%), China (67%), Germany (64%), France (57%), and the United Kingdom (55%).

  • Following a liquidity event such as the sale of a business, Ultrapreneurs expect to allocate 15% of their wealth assets into angel investments and private equity. On average, they are willing to allocate 10% into new business ventures that they start themselves.

THE SERIALPRENEUR - an entrepreneur who owns or has established four or more operating companies.

  • The average number of companies established by the Serialpreneur is 7.5, nearly four times the average of a non-Serialpreneur who has typically started 1.7 companies.

  • The annual turnover for their primary business is USD10.3 million, 37% higher than average revenues for non-Serialpreneurs.

  • In terms of their current portfolio of businesses, 21% of Serialpreneurs consider the next greatest opportunity to be “Starting up a new business in a new industry”

  • The countries with the highest proportion of Serialpreneurs are India, France, the USA, and Indonesia.

THE MILLENNIPRENEUR - an entrepreneur born between 1980 and 2000.

  • They have a strong desire to become Serialpreneurs; 31% are already owners of multiple businesses.

  • The top 3 industries where Millennipreneurs accumulated the majority of their wealth are Information Technology, Online/Mobile & Digital, and Engineering.

  • 43% of serial Millennipreneurs (entrepreneurs aged 35 or younger who have established at least four companies to date) identified “Development in Education” as a wealth creation opportunity that they can explore through their involvement in multiple companies. In addition, 42% of serial Millennipreneurs saw a “Communication revolution” as a future wealth opportunity while 39% saw the same wealth opportunity in a “Scientific and Technology revolution”.


  • The Elite Woman Entrepreneur has an average personal net worth of USD15.9 million. In addition, Women Entrepreneurs have typically started 4 companies in their lifetime with their primary business having an average annual turnover of USD8.6 million. Across these three metrics, the average Woman Entrepreneur outperformed the average male entrepreneur.

  • Women entrepreneurs stress the need for meticulous preparation and knowledge as the route to success. They stress that the best way to manage doubts is to increase the level of knowledge-based certainty.

  • Females are more likely than men to be first generation success stories. A third have no family history of business ownership.

  • Their common goal is to combine achieving positive outcomes for their business and change society. They are aware of the legacy they want to lay down for future entrepreneurs – either female or male – to follow effectively in their footsteps.

THE BOOMERPRENEUR - Baby Boomer aged 55 or over.

  • Boomerpreneurs started their entrepreneurial ventures much later in life (establishing their first company aged 37), 13 years later than Millennipreneurs, who generally began their business activities in their mid-twenties.

  • In the next five years, Boomerpreneurs are most likely to increase their usage of “Investment Funds”, “Private Equity” and “Equity Funding” to make entrepreneurial-related investments in the future.

  • Crowd funding is increasing in relative importance with 57% of Boomerpreneurs likely to step up their usage of this vehicle for entrepreneurial investments in the next 5 years.

  • 80% of Italian and Hong Kong Boomerpreneurs indicated a preference for their family to be involved in the future management of their businesses. 68% of French Boomerpreneurs shows the same interest in involving their family members either actively or passively in the management of their businesse

Discover the report on

More findings on the “Voice of Wealth” app on the App Store or on Google Play Store

BNP Paribas Wealth Management  is a leading global private bank and #1 Private Bank in the Eurozone. Present in three hubs in Europe, Asia and the US, over 6,600 professionals provide a private investor clientele with solutions for optimising and managing their assets. The bank has €341 billion worth of assets under management (as of September 2016) and has been elected “Best Private Bank for Entrepreneurs” in 2016.

In serving its Entrepreneur clients, BNP Paribas Wealth Management works at building links between its professional projects and personal plans, based on four commitments: 

1. Understanding their specific needs at each stage of the wealth-creation process, all through the time they are building up their business

2. Providing them with tailored solutions, taking a comprehensive approach based on BNP Paribas’ profound knowhow in all aspects of wealth management, including wealth planning and investment solutions, and drawing on the wide expertise of the BNP Paribas Group in such areas as real estate and M&A

3. Supporting them through a dedicated organisation consisting of highly-qualified private banking experts and both local and international networks, including Business Centres, Corporate & Institutional Banking services and ‘Maisons des Entrepreneurs’

4. Fostering entrepreneurship by creating long-term partnerships and special training programmes such as the Women Entrepreneur Program, which brought each year 40 women entrepreneurs from Europe, Asia and the United States at the Stanford University campus to take part in a top-rank program of courses and lectures.

About Scorpio Partnership (unavailable link)  

Scorpio Partnership is the leading insight and business consultancy to the global wealth industry. The firm specialises in understanding the wealthy and the financial institutions they interact with. We have developed four transformational disciplines – SEEK, THINK, SHAPE and CREATE – each designed to enable business leaders to strategically assess, plan and drive growth. We leverage our deep insight into client needs and expectations to create practical and actionable business development strategies.

Scorpio Partnership has conducted more than 500 global assignments across wealth for institutions in the banking, fund management, family offices, law, trusts, regulation, IT and technology, insurance and charity sectors. In the course of these assignments, the firm has interviewed almost 75,000 private investors and advisors. Scorpio Partnership has won multiple awards for its consultancy surveys, market insight and thought leadership across Europe, Asia, and the United States. These awards have been voted by industry peers. The firm is part of McLagan, an Aon Hewitt group company.